Printemps à Paris (Spring in Paris)

Trees are sprouting leaves, flowers are in bloom, sparrows sing wake-up melodies at dawn, and morning rain cleans the narrow cobble stone streets. It is spring in Paris. With spring sun giving a shimmer of warmth and sunlight from the dull, grey days of winter, people are donning sunglasses, hitting the cafés, and sitting outside on the terraces to take it all in. Children (and adults) tend to skip, not walk, and smile a little more as the sun now pierces through the clouds beating down on them. The jardins are now a venue for a pique-nique lunch, or afternoon snack. Read More »

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Easter In Paris

Pâques (Easter and Passover) in Paris is all about chocolate, easter eggs, and fun activities for children.  Windows of chocolate shops are lined with ornate chocolate eggs, some the size of American footballs, for sale (and eating) during the holiday.  Themes for this year are traditional, with ornate chocolates made in the shapes of hens, rabbits and birds nests.  Top chocolate shops, including Maison du Chocolate, Lenôtre , Pierre Herme, A La Mere de Famille, Jean Paul Hevin, Hediard, ServantDebauve & Gallais, all have different creations, with ornate eggs, chocolate bears, chocolate chickens and other hand-crafted chocolate pieces that are available only during Easter. Read More »

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Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris — A Snapshot In Time

In Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, he captures the spirit and soul of Paris by sharing some of its best venues, from the steps at Sacré-Cœur  at midnight, to Pont Alexandre III in still night rain.  Owen Wilson, playing Gil, an aspiring writer, asks whether Paris is most enchanting at night or during the day, but later only answers his question (correctly), by concluding “Paris is most beautiful in the rain.” Read More »

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Marché des Enfants Rouges

marche enfant rouges1.jpgParis is renowned for many things; its art, its architecture, its style, but perhaps most of all for its food and drink. Where else in the world can one find so many boulangeries, patisseries, fromageries, cafes, bistros, bars, markets? Is there any other nation that is so famed for the quality of its cuisine? Probably not, although I’m sure some beg to differ.

Despite these glorious facts, however, lies a dark truth; eating and drinking in Paris, like many things alas, ain’t always cheap; between the artisan croissants, ‘authentic’ brasserie experiences, and sometimes-extortionate coffee prices, visitors to the city (and probably residents too) often find themselves going to the bank for extra euros long before their food budgets should have run out. After even a few days here, all those croque monsieurs and steak tartares start adding up, leaving one exasperated as to where to turn, especially if the weather is not suitable for an al fresco baguette and cheese picnic (my prefered way of balancing the books when I’ve gobbled one too many expensive patisserie item)….. Read More »

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Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Picture 496.jpgMany of us come to Paris for the shopping but, if designer stores on the Champs Elysées aren’t your style, there are other options.

Determined to have a real Parisian shopping experience, I decided to look into something a little more off the beaten path. When I heard about the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, I knew that I had found my solution. With over 2,500 stalls that are nicely separated into individually named specialty markets, there is something for everyone.  Being the largest flea market in all of Europe, it’s not hard to see why it attracts between 120,000 to 150,000 visitors each weekend. Read More »

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Lingerie Boutiques In Paris — Popular As The Baguette

There are a few things you will quickly notice about Paris:  a boulangerie on just about every block, a pharmacy on every other block, and upscale lingerie boutiques displaying their seductive wares as commonly as a baguette.  Unlike Victoria’s Secret, which appeals as strongly to men clientele as women, the lingerie boutiques are decidedly for women.  Indeed, men rarely step into these boutiques, and are usually shoved out the door given they simply have no clue what to buy.  And while Valentine’s Day may create some churn in business, let’s face it — these shops are busy all year round. Read More »

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